Beneath it all,Hidden Beauty is Waiting to be Found
Azalea choked by weeds
There is beauty hidden somewhere within
Matthew 13:44-46 King James Version (KJV)
44 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field.
45 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls:
46 Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.
I am persuaded that there is within all of us a hidden beauty. I'm not talking about a woman who is desirable for her physical assets and deemed beautiful to our eyes nor a man who may be considered handsome. It is beauty we all possess that we may not even be aware.Today, as I was working in my yard using my weed eater on a steep bank, that taxes my two Titanium knees, I noticed an Azalea bush that I had set out several years ago. It was being choked and partially shaded by the undergrowth which had all but taken over the spot where there was once a Bradford Pear tree. The Bradford pear had done well on the hillside but an ice storm had played havoc with the branches and the tree had to be taken down. Of the nine I had planted over 25 years ago, none now remain.
The problem I encountered is that the tree stumps have a root system which still produce sprouts each year. To avoid problems they need to be cut down several times each year to prevent them from getting totally out of hand. The one today had many sprouts that had grown to several feet over the Azalea bush beneath and was due to my own neglect of trimming those little shoots off last Fall and this Spring.
As I looked at the Azalea with all the clutter growing I was reminded of how life is very much like my Azalea. There is intrinsic beauty in those ornamental bushes that adorn so many landscapes in the Spring. Along with Day Lilies, the Azalea do not require a lot of maintenance and makes one's yard a showplace. In life, each person has their own beauty. We may not even be aware of that beauty and sometimes it is like the pearl formed in an oyster. The tiny grain of sand that was somehow embedded inside the little creature is an irritant. Over time the oyster secretes a substance called nacre (mother of pearl) layer upon layer to protect itself from the intruder. Over time, a beautiful pearl. is produced and are sought after for fine jewelry.
Humans are in some ways like the oyster. The issues of life we face sometimes are irritants. We languish having anxiety and stress. We worry and become irritable to those around us. Gone unchecked, we can develop mental and emotional issues. and often physical symtpoms. The good news is most if not all those issues can be resolved and we can produce our own pearls.
The pearls we produce are in the form of experience and confidence gained through those trials. Peace of mind and spirit when we have weathered the storms. A old friend told me once he held a PHD in life but had on ly a fourth grade education. Self effort cannot always bring about those desired results and bookstore shelves are lined with book after book of self help books. These may all be good in their own right but in the end, the pearl we are producing will be completed as we work through those life issues. A transformation will come forth with so much beauty. The pearl comes at a great price and there are no easy paths. In many cases, we as individuals may not even be aware of those pearls but they are readily identified by others.
One pearl might be that of encouragement. What greater gift can we give to others who are own and out than a word of encouragement. Recently, I attended a memorial for a 22 year old man who had tragically died in an automobile accident. His family understandably distraught and broken. I pondered just what could possibly say to them. Our vocabularies seem moot at times such as these but as I stood there thinking what I might say, the thought came to me is tell them God understands your grief and hurt.
My comment to them was to find a place where they could sit down alone and to pray. Imagine while you are praying God is sitting across your table or in the place you have chosen to be alone to meet with Him and pour your hearts. Verbalize every emotion. Tell Him how much you hurt and how you do not understand why your loved one was taken so soon in life. I told them to talk to God like they would to a spouse , sibling or your best friend because God wants to hear you as you express your feelings and most importantly, He is interested and desires to listen. He will not interrupt you or argue with you but when you have finished telling Him all that is on your mind and in your heart,you will discover a peace that passes human understanding. He listens and understands because He has experienced what we you have.
There are many pearls within (wisdom, love, etc.) us. They were given us by our Creator. Like the oyster, those pearls came to us by difficult life experiences. Making pearls is not easy but the pearls formed in us have a rare beauty meant to be shared not to be possessed.